... no more than an architect of a house could actually be a wall or staircase or fireplace in that house.' 4 The concept of a good power or mind is misleading. When God is referred to as good, the immediate thought is a warm loving personality. Lewis referred to this good as representative of truth.
The law of nature is defined by what man ought to do or as absolute truth. When one acts according to what they ought to do, the law of nature has no consideration of how painful or dangerous it might be. This good which Lewis argued for is cold and hard, without personable traits. He attributed good as 'either the great safety or the great danger-according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.' 5 The third aspect argued and justified the need for people to repent and the promise of forgiveness. In this stage, two realizations must be made: First, that there is after all a 'real moral law, and a power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power.' 6 Secondly, the stage of dismay which precedes comfort.
This first realization is built on the logic of the previous arguments. To perceive the situation as desperate sheds light on and assists one to understand what the Christians are 'talking about'. The conclusion of this argument demands that individual recognize that coming to terms with what ought to be or truth is indeed a sobering experience. When discussing the concepts of absolutes and that God is good one would ask about His power. If indeed God is the creator of this universe, then his power would be immense.
The word 'omnipotent' is used to describe the power of God in this context. The question then arises concerning a good God and the existence of pain and evil in his creation. If pain exists in this universe then God is either not truly good or lacks power to stop it. Lewis dedicates a chapter in his work, The Problem of Pain, to explaining this apparent contradiction. He also tackles the concept of impossibility in relation to omnipotence. The dialectic analysis consists of things 'intrinsically possible' and the things 'intrinsically impossible'.
7 A God of omnipotent power can do all things intrinsically possible. The reference to God performing the intrinsically impossible is nonsensical and foolishness to Lewis. The attribution of miracles and supernatural occurrences to God can be explained as possible, though humans perceive it as impossible. Clyde S. Kilby argues the point of free will and God's power in context to Lewis' work on the existence of pain. Kilby states that:'s up pose that in my eagerness to be perfectly happy I persuade God day after day to change all prevailing conditions to my wishes.
But if all conditions follow my wishes, it is obvious that they cannot possibly follow your wishes also and you will therefore be deprived of your freedom. Freedom is impossible in a world subject to whim.' 8 Therefore, pains existence in a universe created by a 'good and omnipotent God is logically feasible. The next work by C. S. Lewis is The World's Last Night. This work contains an essay on prayer.
Lewis examined prayer and its purpose by asking certain questions. Questions like, 'What evidence would prove the efficacy of prayer?' 9 If a prayer is 'answered', 'how can you ever know it was not going to happen anyway?' 10 The answer to a prayer does no provide irrefutable evidence of the efficacy of prayer. 'Does prayer work?' Lewis states that prayer is not a machine by which one could plug in the right phrases and get the results. He defines prayer as either a 'sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person.' 11 If in fact prayer is a sheer illusion its purpose would be for the vocalization of wishful thinking. Whether the desired result comes to pass is completely based on fate or the simple fact that it was going to happen anyway.
If is indeed a contact to an 'utterly concrete Person' to what avail? What advice can a finite and intellectually limited person give to an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent being? Lewis states, 'Our act, when we pray, must not, any more than all our other acts, be separate from the continuous act of God Himself, in which alone all finite causes operate.' 12 Prayer, according to Lewis, is a statement according to the 'will' or actions of God. The will of God is knowable according to Lewis. However, he does not mention what God's will was / is . In the following paragraphs Lewis conveniently changes his direction addressing an other aspect of prayer. He also does not explain how one goes about finding God's will or why would God want to hear billions of little voices telling Him what His will is. Lewis does a poor job justifying the efficacy of prayer.
It can be seen that C. S. Lewis' analysis was always in terms of black and white or extremes. Any other alternative is either foolishness or unthinkable. He wielded the dialectic process of analysis as though it were second nature to him. His well trained mind synthesized theological dilemmas for the layman.
Constantly referring to himself as a layman himself, Lewis left the details of theological doctrine and philosophy to those who were 'experts'. He was only interested in his own personal questions concerning Christianity and sharing his well thought out answers to others. This critique of C. S. Lewis contains various selections from three of his books. The first work address the topic of 'Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe.' In this section Lewis argues for the existence of absolutes, God and the validity of Christianity.
The second work which was examined was The Problem of Pain. A selection on the omnipotent power of a 'good' God was discussed in terms of the 'intrinsically impossible' and the existence of pain. Thirdly, the 'efficacy of prayer' was addressed in critical questioning of the purpose its existence.